Dalit pick is BJP's vote-bank politics: Shiv Sena

In the past two presidential elections, Shiv Sena did not back the NDA candidate and supported Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee, respectively.

Barely a day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and BJP President Amit Shah met here, the Shiv Sena on Monday launched a fresh attack on its ally - this time for the grim situation in Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal.

Shah had on Sunday met its sulking ally and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackerey in Mumbai to ensure the Sena's crucial support.

After a round of talks with the opposition, the BJP has called a meeting of its Parliamentary Party today to discuss its Presidential candidate.

After Shiv Sena endorsed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat's name for presidential nominee, the right-wing organization on Saturday said the former had dialed a wrong number. "Pawar is Modi's guru, can't say what's in one's heart", Thackeray had said.

A Shiv Sena leader who requested anonymity, however, conceded that the party had no option but "to support Kovind".

While a host of BJP and Sena leaders were present at the Thackeray home, none of them were part of the meeting.

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JD (U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA's candidate for the President elections.

The Shiv Sena had earlier said it may choose an "independent" path in the election to the highest constitutional office.

"What we want is that the BJP should propose a name then there should be a discussion".

The BJP chief said the NDA government had taken up the cause of the downtrodden, women, tribals, farmers and weaker sections of society and did not have a single allegation of corruption against it.

Shah landed here this morning as a part of his extensive tour programme of various states.

"Farmers are boiling with ire over remunerative prices and loan waiver.The Sena is ready for the polls", he added.

The BJP was forced to form a panel for parleys with the opposition as Sonia constituted a sub-group of the opposition parties for the presidential election to create troubled waters for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the country's coveted post.

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